The Edge of the Arctic: Churchill and the
Hudson Bay Lowlands
Robert R. Taylor
love affair with the north starts innocently enough. One day you find yourself looking out
upon a vast expanse of land with endless sky above; the air is fresh and cool; and you
know that here it is possible to feel a sense of 'oneness' with the earth."
With his sense of landscape and imagination, Robert R. Taylor begins the introduction to his extraordinary book of
photography of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Lowlands. Taylor does for photography what
Barry Lopez, in his hauntingly beautiful book Arctic Dreams,
does for writing. Lopez writes from the sense of imagination and desire evoked by an
odyssey through the Arctic. Taylor's photographs come from within as well, and kindle an
awareness of visual thinking. All thinking is basically perceptual, and we can understand
and perceive the northern landscapes of Taylor's collective memory through the story
telling of his images.
In his introduction, Taylor
goes on to describe how, "each new horizon yields observations
enough to occupy the discerning eye and inquisitive mind in limitless fashion. The
presence of the Arctic marine habitat of Hudson Bay with its Beluga Whales, Seals, and
Polar Bears enhances the appeal of this region. All ingredients combine to produce a rich
dynamic ecosystem which is unique and attractive."
Taylor's photography, in
his book The Edge of the Arctic, evokes a visual
perception of wonder and adventure that inspires you to want to see the Arctic for
yourself. For those who are fortunate to have already been, the visual inspiration
retrieves memories of the Arctic landscape from the past--to the here and now. Robert
Taylor, through these photographs, invites the participant to not only reflect on the
spirit of the place, but to touch the spirit within.
View the larger image.
If there is any real hope
of survival for such fragile ecological environments, then our understanding of place and
space has to come from within long before we can make any lasting changes on the outside.
Before we can tackle ecological solutions, we have to understand the why of what we are
doing. Taylor's visual perceptions help us to touch the spirit of his "oneness" with the earth.
Robert R. Taylor is a
man with a deep love of nature. For more than two decades he has explored and photographed
the Hudson Bay region on an annual basis, as well as leading naturalist and photography
tours to East Africa for many years. He graduated from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in
Toronto in 1963, majoring in science photography. Robert was awarded a fellowship in the
Professional Photographers Association of Manitoba and has earned the honor of Master of
Photographic Arts of the Professional Photographers of Canada.
View the larger image.
In 1978 he was accepted
into the prestigious Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, one of the few photographers to
receive this honor. The photographs of Robert R. Taylor have appeared in many national
and international magazines and in several previous books. His prints decorate many
offices and homes across Canada. Robert is well known for his owl photographs and
paintings, a favorite subject of his. The license plate on his well travelled van reads
Review by John S Goulet
The Edge of the Arctic: Churchill and the Hudson Bay Lowlands is
available at all good book sellers. Contact Robert directly by writing: Robert R. Taylor,
944 Windermere Ave, Winnipeg, Mb, Canada, R3T 1A1 or email robert(@)polarbearphotography.com
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Last modified on
June 15, 2013
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